What can be done if you set your mind, and some money, to it.

  TopCat® 14:05 20 Jan 2014
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Answered

This Victorian house here used to burn fossil fuels but now has a carbon-free footprint, thanks to the architect owner. Subject to planning permissions, adequate money and a sympathetic authority, it could be possible for the whole street to be converted. What do you guys think? TC.

  Mr Mistoffelees 16:30 20 Jan 2014

As usual, in claiming the house is carbon neutral, all the materials and energy used, from manufacturing all the extras added to the house, delivering everything to the house and carrying out the building work on the property, have been ignored.

  Aitchbee 17:03 20 Jan 2014

I've installed on the inside of my square glass bedroom windows, a thin sheet of plasic [it cost about £2 and comes in a roll 2m x 1m]. I decided to cover about 90% of the window area with the 'translucent' material [with 2 slots for seeing out] and it provides excellent privacy with maximum natural daylight coming through ... and is also plant-friendly ... basically 'net-curtains without the net' ;o]

  wee eddie 17:10 20 Jan 2014

I know that they are regarded as old fashioned but, Net Curtains, hanging within and inch of the glass, add a considerable level of added insulation without reducing the amount of light entering the room, by a great deal.

In an Urban Situation they also add a considerable level of privacy

  TopCat® 15:30 21 Jan 2014

Mr Mistoffolees

It is said that "one can't make an omelette without breaking eggs" so, if that is true and I believe it is, then obviously there was an initial underlying cost in converting that house. Now it is fully completed there ahould be no more adverse problems or pressures on the environment. TC.

  Forum Editor 19:56 21 Jan 2014

Mr Mistoffelees

"....all the materials and energy used, from manufacturing all the extras added to the house, delivering everything to the house and carrying out the building work on the property, have been ignored."

I think you've misunderstood this.

Firstly, It isn't being claimed that converting the house was a carbon neutral process, but that the building will be carbon neutral from now on in terms of its energy requirements.

In fact, some of the CO2 created in the manufacturing and distribution of the materials may well have been neutralised, or substantially reduced by the companies concerned buying carbon offsets. Lots of companies are doing this to help their emission figures in the short term, while their own CO2 reduction programmes are gearing up.

  oresome 18:55 22 Jan 2014

I wonder what the outcome will be if their neighbours want to build similar structures above their existing roof levels?

They may all be fighting for the available sunlight.

The internal volume of the house will be substantially reduced by the insulation and will no doubt be a deterrent to many for this reason.

I read that the Governments green initiative has had a poor take up so far. This is a scheme where the cost of the efficiency improvements is added to the monthly energy bill over an extended period and may well be self financing by the savings in future energy usage.

  Mr Mistoffelees 20:51 22 Jan 2014
Answer

To some extent at least, carbon offsets are just a way for a company to massage their carbon footprint figure, at a lower cost than actually reducing it.

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